Kiss Me Not
Producer: Wael Omar Sayed el Ahl
Production Company: Middle West Films
Balash Tebosni; the Story of a Kiss, is a mockumentary that follows the story of Tamer, a young and ambitious Egyptian director who faces issues while shooting a kissing scene in his new film. The leading actress Fajr, once a starlet known for her steamy roles, decides to quit the film before finishing it because she has ‘found God’ and now has a problem with kissing in front of the camera... jeopardizing the completion of the highly publicized film, and more importantly, Tamer’s vision.
The story of Tamer’s film is interwoven with archival footage and interviews with heavyweight actors and directors from the Egyptian film industry and particularly ones who come from the liberal eras of cinema who tell their own stories of kissing on film. They will also comment on their “colleague” the director Tamer (as if he is a real director) and his problem with Fajr, blurring the line between fiction and the documentary. Also, famous preachers and “redeemed” actors will present their case regarding what is halal and why they are pushing for “clean cinema” but all in the context of our story of Tamer and Fajr.
This film will examine the rise of conservatism in Egyptian cinema and society. It will shed light on the complex relationship between religion and art in the largest country in the Arab world.
Ahmed Amer was born and raised in Cairo. Balash Tebosni is his first feature film after many years as a professional screenwriter for TV shows and a number of feature films in Egypt. Ahmed spent a few years as an assistant editor in the US working on documentaries and TV content as well as having made a few appearances as an actor in a number of films in New York. His short film Al Maktoub shot in Dec 2012 screened at the Shorts Films Corner at Cannes 2013. Other writing credits include "Winter of Discontent" (Venice Orizzonti 2013) by Ibrahim El Batout, and Arabic dialogue for Shirin Neshat's upcoming film set in Egypt. Amer's script "Ali the Goat and Ibrahim" (in production) won awards from the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Arte France Cinema Award for International Relations, The Egyptian National Institute of Cinema, received an honorable mention award from Global Film Initiative.